The health benefits of Butterbur tea have been known for centuries. It is said that the early Greeks used the herb to help relieve inflammations and respiratory problems. It was used in Europe in the Middle Ages to help combat bubonic plague. Native Americans were said to have used the butterbur to fight headaches.
The butterbur is a plant belonging to the daisy family and is characterized by thick, creeping underground rhizomes and large rhubarb-like leaves. The short spikes of flowers are usually green, flesh-colored or white.
Known by its scientific name of Butterbur is found in the wetlands and marshes of Europe, Northern Asia, and the Scandinavian countries. It typically grows in places covered by shades, in waterways, in ditches and in wet meadows.
The beneficial compounds in butterbur are concentrated in the roots. Among these compounds are alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, mucilage, sesquiterpenes and others.
To make a nice cup of butterbur tea, simply place about one teaspoon of butterbur roots in a cup of room-temperature water. Let this mix stand for about 12 hours. Then heat the water to boiling. Once it boils, take it off the heat and let it stand for about 5 minutes. Strain and drink. Drinker may add some sugar to enhance the taste of the tea.
It is best to consult with a qualified health practitioner if you decide to take butterbur tea. Please note that butterbur contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids and extracts of the butterbur has been linked to liver damage. The tea should not be used by pregnant or nursing women. Drink the tea sparingly and DO NOT drink it for extended periods.
The following are the health benefits attributed to butterbur tea:
- May help in alleviating migraine headaches.
- May help in the treatment of hay fever.
- May help in easing menstrual cramps.
- May help in the treatment of some respiratory diseases, such as asthma.
- Has been traditionally used as a stimulant for the heart.
- Has been traditionally used to treat kidney problems and stones in the urinary tract.
- Has been traditionally used to expel intestinal worms.